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Blog Stories – July 19, 2021

Wine in Glass Bottles Symbolizes Tradition, Pride & Quality in France, Survey Finds

Wine in glass bottles remains the beloved packaging choice for wine lovers, wine makers and brands across France.

A new survey from the Federation of Glass Industries, France’s glass association, surveyed more than 1,000 wine lovers from April to May 2021. The study investigated the image of wine in glass as well as consumer motives for buying wine in glass bottles, particularly in relation to sustainability. It also aimed at establishing a comparison between the reasons for buying glass and Bag-in-Box (BIB).

Glass remains the dominant choice for quality-conscious wine lovers in France. Glass packaging signals a guarantee of quality. Consumers perceived it as a packaging choice that inspires confidence and a symbol of the French way of life and pride in the region’s wine-making know-how. It remains the format of choice as almost all respondents (94%) say they buy glass bottles of wine, compared to 22% for Bag-in-box® (consumers were able to select multiple formats in the survey).

Wine in glass bottles is also perceived as the most sustainable choice for the planet: more than 9 out of 10 wine lovers say that glass is an easily recyclable format, easy to sort at home, 100% recyclable and infinitely recyclable. And 7 out of 10 wine lovers say they limit their consumption of plastic. The survey also shows people are motivated to buy wine in glass because of the pleasure of gifting and sharing, as well as practicality.

Wine Brands in France Choose Glass Packaging

The attributes that attract consumers to glass packaging – quality, taste preservation, and sustainable attributes – are very much the same benefits that have attracted wine makers for generations.

“Glass is the reflection of our products: authentic and 100% local,” says Frederic Casteja, Director General Maison Borie-Manoux, winemaker in the Bordeaux region of France.

Casteja’s remarks allude to how the process of glassmaking is often local: ingredients are sourced regionally, including recycled glass, and then processed and manufactured in the same region to return as new glass packaging to serve the community. We like to say it’s how the same vines and same glass bottles meet again, infinitely, with new vintages and new glass bottles created from recycled ones.

O-I’s Vayres plant, which is in the Bordeaux region and partners with Casteja, uses an average of 80% recycled content to create new glass wine bottles. Recycled glass as well as other ingredients are sourced from within 180 miles [280km] on average, reinforcing the local supply chain. You can learn more about sustainable manufacturing and the circular economy at O-I Vayres in the video below.

French Glass Federation Advocates for Glass Wine Bottles

The study is part of a 2021 campaign from the French Glass Industry Federation to broadly educate consumers and brand owners about the value of glass wine bottles. In May, the #MyUniverre (“verre” meaning “glass” in French) campaign launched on social networks. There are conferences planned later this year to educate and celebrate glass. O-I is partnering with the Federation to support its glass advocacy activities.

At O-I, we love glass. Not only is it the perfect packaging material for a low-waste, circular economy, but it’s also the kindest for human health. Our collaboration with the French Glass Industry Federation exemplifies how we work with our partners to share our love for glass globally.

Jess is content strategist at O-I Glass. If you’ve seen her work with The Weather Channel, weather.com, and CraftBeeer.com, you know she loves telling a good story. She’s a runner, a craft brewery lover, a mom, and a die-hard Springsteen fan.
Jess Baker